Thread: I need a plan!

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    Lightbulb I need a plan!

    I just got hired, about a month ago, on the federal fire department. I'm 20 years old and right now i'm getting my DOD certs which are Hazmat AW&OPS, Firefighter I&II, and Airport Fire. I've already completed the AW&OPS and now i'm working on my DOD Firefighter I. Lets say that you are in my situation and have just completed all your certs. What would you do next? I'm looking for idea's to plan my life out, for example, should i continue my career in the Federal Fire Dept. or should i get State firefighter certs and try to go city.

    -Matt
    San Diego, CA

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    FFMatt83...

    First a question, do Federal Firefighters still work a 72 hour work week?

    Okay now to try and answer your question. I worked for 7 years as a civilian firefighter on an Air National Guard base. I got my 5 level certification, IFSAC FFII, IFSAC Pumper Driver Operator, IFSAC ARFF Firefighter, IFSAC ARFF Driver Operator and IFSFI Level A Haz-Mat instructor. I left for a career firefighter position in a medium sized city.

    Do I regret my time as a civilian firefighter for the ANG? No. We worked a 48 hour work week. 24/48 with a Kelly Day every 3 weeks. I left for a department that more suited what I had wanted in the fire service, a structural fire department with more action. Also, at the time I worked for ANG the pay sucked. While it cost me about $3K to leave and start with my new FD I made that up after my first year. I make more as a firefighter now than an A/C makes where I was. I looked at it as a chance to work in the fire service. I loved the job as a CFR firefighter. I gained experience as well as training.

    As for what YOU should do. Is where you are where you want to be? Is it your dream job? You are 20 years old you have plenty of time to gain experience and training while you try to decide if this is what you want to do for the rest of your career. The only question thrown into the mix is the job security issue. Many federal fire departments have been closed over the years. Is there any danger of that where you are?

    On the bright side you have a job in the fire service. You gain experience and training that will only benefit you no matter what you eventually chose to do.

    Good luck and congratulations on getting hired.

    FyredUp

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    Thanks that advice helped a lot. I have already been talking to my Training Chief about getting signed off on my State Firefighter I&II while i do my DOD certs, that way ill already have about 2/3 of my state certs completed. Ya we work 48/48 for one shift then its 48/72 for two more shifts. After that it cycles.
    Thanks again for your knowledge.

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    I just have a quick ?. Whats the fedeal fire dept? I tried google and came up with a bunch of nonsense responses.

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    CBlasek...

    Federal Fire Departments protect federally owned facilities and military bases. Federal fire departments are staffed by civilian firefighters hired by the federal goivernment.

    In some circumstances they are the only fire protection at a facility, an example may be a veterans hospital that has its own FD. On military bases they may be the every day fire department for normal base operations. In some cases they may be supplemented by a daily contingent of military firefighters and in others the military firefighters are there only for there UTA drill weekends.

    Basically federal employees that are firefighters.

    FyredUp

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